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Kenya is beating the war drums

Naima Osman
Friday August 9, 2019

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monice Juma - PHOTO|EVANS HABIL|NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya’s coercive diplomacy started early this year when it recalled its Ambassador to Somalia and requested the Somali Ambassador to Kenya to go back to Somalia. Since then it is aggressively engaged in spreading lies against Somalia, repeatedly defaming the integrity of ICJ court and the ICJ President. This ad hominem fallacy is a preemptive measure to discredit the court and attain support from its people for its plan to invade Somalia. It wants to blame Somalia for its destabilization plan of the region. By doing so, Kenya is unfortunately rubbing salts in unhealed wounds of the past.

Somalia resorted to the ICJ following Kenya’s unilateral decision of drawing a parallel line to the line of latitude and only after the negotiations with Kenya failed to bring a peaceful resolution to the dispute. Kenya insisted taking large share of the maritime area from Somalia and has sold illegally mining licenses to international oil companies. Somalia’s position is very clear, it wants the maritime boundary be determined by an equidistance principle.

The concept of equidistance, is a legal view stating that a nation's maritime boundaries should conform to a median line that is equidistant from the shores of neighboring nations. This is an internationally agreed notion, it is not something new that Somalia is contriving. 

It is unfortunate that Kenya is vehemently pursuing an expansionist policy by continuing to destabilize Somalia. The destabilization process is going on many fronts.  Kenya’s calls on UN to formally list Al-Shabab as a terrorist group under resolution 1267 of UN Security Council is a ruse to illegally target Somali business people who do not support their expansionist ideology. The resolution will allow Kenya to list any Somali as a terrorist and freeze his/her asset. It will also have a major impact on humanitarian emergencies and set Somalia to a standstill.

In the ground, Kenya’s military contingent in Kismayo (Somalia) is accused by the UN monitoring group of making millions of dollars per year on charcoal and sugar business which also generates millions of dollars for the terrorist organization, Al-Shabab.  It is not a myth, but a reality that Kenya is in cahoots with the terrorist organization, despite its attacks inside Kenya and an indication of its unwillingness to fight Al-Shabab as both share a common goal, which is destabilizing Somalia.

Just yesterday, Kenya’s Parliament tabled a motion sponsored by Adan Duale and his partner, the leader of the minority party to authorize Kenya’s army to invade Somalia.  This is an act of provocation and a signal that Kenya is up to its usual shenanigans. Interestingly, in paragraph 11 of the motion Kenya is already predicting that it will lose the case at ICJ which itself is a confession that it does not have a case and that the disputed territory belongs to Somalia, and not Kenya. Further Kenya’s claim that it has a legitimate right to expand its territory beyond its border because Al-Shabab attacks has economically impacted Kenya’s tourism industry is pathetic.

Kenya has been aiming for months for an outside court settlement as it wants to by-pass the court hearing. Its parliamentary motion is aimed exactly at achieving that. Kenya will send troops to Somalia hoping Somalia to react as well. This will change the entire scenario of maritime border dispute to an armed conflict.  It will then compel the UN or AU or friendly countries to intervene and a call for the ICJ to close the case.  This a very dangerous move and I warn the Somali Federal Government and the people of Somalia not to fall into this trap.  Somalia should remain calm, but alert and let Kenya continue crying wolf. We need to have a control of our emotional feelings as time will come when we need to respond collectively and wisely.

Kenya’s attempt to involve some gulf countries into the conflict with Somalia is a ploy to destroy Somalia. The deal will secure these countries royalties or shares of our resources if they stand with Kenya financially and politically.  Although these countries have been traditionally closer to Somalia, but their ambitious interest in the region have shifted and Kenya seizes the opportunity to benefit from it.

Somalia is committed to live in peace with its neighboring countries including Kenya, but rest assured that the people of Somalia won’t accept intimidation and provocation. Somalia knows the consequences of a war, but won’t shy away to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty

To my fellow Somalis, never in our history that we have been so weak, hopeless, never in our history that we have been so humiliated, and never in our history that we have been soft target for many, time has come to have a serious dialogue of our fate as a nation. We can agree to disagree, but we should never disagree to live in peace and harmony together. We have been cursed because of our geographical location and the potential wealth of our country. We inflate our disagreements and minimize our common interests. Failure to strengthen our unity is not an option, but a disgrace. There will be bumps and bruises in defending our common destiny, but if we come together as one and heal our wounds we will overcome our differences and be strong. The road ahead is bumpy and only with unity we will survive. The Kenya’s drums of war should be the call for unity. Kenya may see the political differences among the Somali people as advantage to her cause, but history is a witness that our unity thrives when an enemy attacks us. Self-defense is s sovereign right bestowed to every country and Somali people have never tolerated an aggression.  Rich or poor, strong or weak, Somalia remains our country and we should sacrifice our lives to this great nation until death do us apart.

Naima Osman
[email protected]


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